In the wake of the closure of NBCUniversal’s US$3.8-billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation yesterday, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has unveiled its new chain of command for DreamWorks Animation’s film, television and related businesses.
Former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who netted a cool US$391-million payday following the Comcast acquisition, will now oversee NBCU’s ownership stakes in DreamWorks-owned Awesomeness TV and DreamWorks’ newly formed tech company NOVA.
After a period of transition serving as an advisor, Ann Daly will step down from her role as president of DreamWorks Animation, a position she’s held since July 2014.
On the film side, DWA’s co-presidents of feature animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria will now report to Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. Arnold and Soria began leading feature animation in January 2015, after longtime DreamWorks Animation exec Bill Damaschke stepped down from his CCO position.
For DreamWorks’ television segment, head of animation TV Margie Cohn will now helm DreamWorks’ and Universal’s newly integrated television animation business, reporting to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell.
Finally, NBCUniversal’s brand development president Vince Klaseus, who joined the company from Disney Consumer Products in September 2014, will also report to Shell in his new remit overseeing the joint games unit, and digital and consumer products divisions for DWA and Universal.
Kidscreen reached out to NBCUniversal regarding further staffing changes to Universal Brand Development and Universal Kids Productions but have received no comment. The latter made its first high-profile hire last year with the addition of former ex-Nickelodeon Preschool vet Teri Weiss as SVP, and the division was in a state of growth this past spring as it mounted a search for an EVP to head up Kids & Family TV and the commercial aspects of its productions, but to our knowledge the role has not been filled.
The overall executive restructure comes as Comcast looks to better compete in the kids entertainment space, particularly with the House of Mouse.